Today in Soap Opera History (July 24)

1981: Another World's Hanna and Lenny held Jamie at gunpoint.
1986: As the World Turns celebrated patriarch Chris Hughes.
1992: Reba McEntire guest-starred on One Life to Live.
1997: OLTL's Patrick threatened Todd with a pitchfork.
"History never looks like history when you are living through it."
― John W. Gardner

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1933: The Romance of Helen Trent premiered regionally in Chicago.  The show began airing on the CBS Radio network that October and remained on the air until June 24, 1960. During its 27-year run, three actresses played Helen--Virginia Clark and Betty Ruth Smith in Chicago, and later Julie Stevens in New York. The Romance of Helen Trent had a following so intense that at the height of its popularity the show received 1,000 letters a week offering advice on her many problems.

1939: Radio soap opera Thunder Over Paradise premiered on the Blue Network. Laurette Fillbrandt starred as a woman attempting to run a cattle ranch in Central America.

1980: On The Edge of Night, Larry lured "Kirk" (Tony Craig) out to Playland.



1981: On Another World, Lenny (Ed O'Neill) and Hannah pulled a gun on Jamie Frame (Richard Bekins) to stop him from leaving the Cory cabin.



1984: Patsy Pease debuted as Kimberly Brady in Days of our Lives.

1986: On As the World Turns, Oakdale mourned the late Chris Hughes at his funeral. Actor Don MacLaughlin, who played the role of Chris since the show's first episode, passed away on May 28, 1986.



1987: Josh Taylor aired for the final time on Days of our Lives as Chris Kositchek. He returned to Days in 1997 as a recast of Roman Brady.

1992: Reba McEntire guest-starred on One Life to Live (she also appeared on July 27).



1996: Former soap opera actress Catherine Ann Christiansen (All My Children; One Life to Live) was arrested and charged with plotting to have her husband killed. She would later be sentenced to a year in prison.

1997: On One Life to Live, Patrick (Thorsten Kaye) threatened Todd (Roger Howarth) with a pitchfork.



1997: On All My Children, Joe (Ray MacDonnell) was unhappy to learn he needed surgery.



Celebrating a birthday today are:
John Aniston
John Aniston (Victor, Days of our Lives; ex-Martin, Search for Tomorrow; ex-Eddie, Love of Life) - 82
Mark Goddard (ex-Derek, General Hospital; ex-Paul, The Doctors; ex-Ted, One Life to Live) - 79
Maeve McGuire (ex-Judith, All My Children; ex-Beverly, One Life to Live; ex-Selena, Guiding Light; ex-Kate, Search for Tomorrow; ex-Elena, Another World; ex-Nicole, The Edge of Night) - 78
Chris Sarandon (ex-Tom, Guiding Light) -73
Sam Behrens (ex-Maxwell, The Young and the Restless; ex-Gregory, Sunset Beach; ex-Jake, General Hospital; ex-Adam, Ryan's Hope) - 65
James Goodwin (ex-Kevin, Another World; ex-Johnny, Guiding Light; ex-Jerry, All My Children) - 54
Laura Leighton (Ashley, Pretty Little Liars; ex-Sydney, Melrose Place) - 47
Kristin Chenoweth (ex-Carlene, GCB; ex-Peggy, The Good Wife; ex-April, Glee) - 47
Jennifer Lopez (Executive Producer, The Fosters) - 46
Summer Glau (ex-Skylar, Alphas; ex-Emily, Grey's Anatomy) - 34
Elisabeth Moss (ex-Peggy, Mad Men; ex-Zoey, The West Wing) - 33
Anna Paquin (ex-Sookie, True Blood) - 33
Tala Ashe (ex-R.J., Smash; ex-Ameera, As the World Turns) - 31
Megan Park (ex-Grace, The Secret Life of the American Teenager) - 29
Mara Wilson (ex-Nikki, Melrose Place) - 28

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a soap history entry for this date or a future date, email kevin@welovesoaps.com.

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